LIVING FEAR FREE
A life without threat
Consider fear for a moment. Perhaps you don’t think of yourself as a “fearful” person. Maybe you feel that you only experience fear occasionally in moments when it’s called for or justified. Fear is a sneaky little gremlin. It is disguised as anxiousness, avoidance, tension, being non-confrontational, or trying to fix situations, yourself or other people’s experience of life. It can manifest as sensations in the body such as digestive upset, headaches, muscular aches and pains, jaw clenching, gripping, inflexibility, tightness, trouble sleeping, difficulty relaxing and more. Fear is the basic response we have to feeling a sense of powerlessness or like things are out of our control. When fear is present our lower brain centers are activated and our higher, more conscious brain areas are not being utilized. Self-survival and preservation is the name of the game. We can only think about how we will get through the next few moments or minutes, and have little capacity to zoom out and see the big picture.
I would venture to say the fear is somewhere in the background of our experience most of the time even if we aren’t aware of its presence. It can easily be called up into the forefront when we perceive a threatening situation, thought, emotion or sensation. Evaluate for a moment the contrasting experience. What percentage of the time, while you are awake, do you feel completely at peace with nothing to fix, nowhere to go, nothing to get done, no urgency, no tension in your body or mind, and non-reactive without a single disruptive thought? All without utilizing any substances to be in this state.
Because a peaceful inner state of being is desirable for most people, and because most people don’t experience that, we often turn to substances, foods or medications to numb out the fearful feelings and sensations, so that for a few moments of our day we can feel relaxed. Due to our reliance on things that we ingest to shift our state of being, we might not even know what we are feeling. This is true for many. We are so disconnected from our fearful feeling state of being because we do our best to numb it down as much as possible. While this is an ok short-term strategy, this is not a way to live. Yet this is the way that most are living. Kind numb, kind of checked out and just going through the motions of life and getting all the things done. We think life is “ok”, but deep inside we know its really not that great and we aren’t sure how to be any other way.
Fantasy or reality
Imagine for a moment what it would feel like to never feel or perceive threat again. To be invincible in the yourself and in the knowing that nothing can harm or hurt you. That nothing at all is out to get you. That absolutely everything is working for you. That every sensation, feeling and thought is there to support you somehow. To be absolutely empowered. This is a far stretch for most. In fact many people likely think that this is an improbable state of being and living. Yet what if it is our next evolutionary step? The next rung on the ladder of our development. To be completely fear free and live openly and invitingly with all of our experience of life. It may seem like fantastical thinking, yet to me it feels more like waking up from the nightmare that our mind has created about our experience, and experiencing more of the actual reality that is.
How do we get there? It’s simpler than you might think. It requires only a few things. First is the overarching desire to live in a peaceful state of being no matter what. This desire must be strong. I mean really, really strong. If you don’t have an unshakeable desire for peace than you will be easily disturbed, because let’s face it life and most of our current perspectives about life, give us a lot to be disturbed by. Your desire is the hope you have in overcoming your environment, the stories you currently have about your environment, and the fuel you need to make the changes in your life for inner peace. The second thing required is the willingness to feel all the “bad”, uncomfortable or non-peaceful things you attempt to avoid feeling by numbing, controlling, tensing up, people pleasing and the like. If you aren’t willing to face your underlying feelings than you will forever be running from them and paradoxically then they will run you. Whatever we avoid rules and chooses for us. We are not in charge when we are not feeling all of our feelings head on.
You can see it’s really not complicated. It does however mean that you will need to do some things differently. You are going to have to change some of your habits, preferences or addictions to certain substances or activities that check you out from feeling. You may need to slow yourself down so that you can be more subtle in your awareness of yourself and pay attention to what you are feeling. If you are someone who is always with other people you may need to prioritize some alone time so you can self-reflect. None of these things are hard, but they require change. When we don’t really want to change something, then it feels hard to change, but when our desire for something is strong, the change is easy. That’s why I said that your desire must be strong or else the journey will feel treacherous to you and you will perceive obstacles that seem impossible for you to overcome.
It is possible, and even probable if you so desire, to live fear free. To be an open channel of peace, love and presence. To be a rested, still, stable presence in a world of nonstop activity. This is not an impossible feat. In fact I believe it is our next collective developmental step in consciousness. To come back to wholeness and to heal, is to unify with all that is. If we perceive threat we will keep some parts separate, which keeps us separate. To drop our guards and be brave enough to feel all the things, will return us into remembrance of the one unified whole of which we are.
Dr. Amanda Love, Chiropractor, Network Spinal Analysis & Somato-Respiratory Integration, Boulder, Colorado